Enrique Olvera in Houston
One of Mexico’s most-acclaimed chefs — and his James Beard Award-winning chef de cuisine — are coming to Houston for a special one-night only pop-up that promises to be one of the most talked about culinary events of 2017.
Enrique Olvera, chef-owner of Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme in New York City, and Daniela Soto-Innes, Cosme’s chef de cuisine, are the featured attractions at The BIG Pop-Up, a charitable event organized by the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters in association with its annual Big Taste of Houston fundraiser. The event will take place May 5 at Ecclesia near downtown. Tickets (priced at $150 for general admission and $225 for VIP) go on sale today.
For those who pay attention to the global culinary scene, Olvera scarcely needs an introduction. Mexico City has become one of the world’s must-visit culinary destinations, and Pujol is at the forefront of the city’s ascension into the global food media’s collective consciousness. Last week, he achieved the distinction of being the only chef in the world with two restaurants on the newest edition of the prestigious (if controversial) World’s 50 Best list with Pujol ranked at 20 and Cosme, which only opened two years ago, at 40.
Soto-Innes has earned her own acclaim. After working at a number of Houston restaurants including Brennan’s, Triniti, and Underbelly, she moved to Mexico City and began working with Olvera. In 2016, she won the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year, given annually to the country’s best chef under the age of 30, for her work as Cosme's chef de cuisine. She will also serve Cosme's signature "Husk Meringue" with corn mousse at the VIP portion of the Big Taste.
At the BIG Pop-Up, the two chefs will serve three savory tostadas: one with black aguachile with sweet potato, another with mussels and chorizo, and a third with avocado, scallop, and kohlrabi. A cinnamon tostada with almond butter, apples, and ginger will serve as dessert.
Julep owner Alba Huerta will serve tequila cocktails (made with Tequila Ocho) paired with each course. VIP ticket holders are invited to a post-event dessert reception to meet the chefs that will feature locally-roasted Greenway Coffee and churros.
Expect the 300 tickets to sell out quickly. Culinary superstars like Olvera don't make their way to Houston often, and the tickets are a lot less expensive than traveling to one of his restaurants (and the purchase supports a worthy charity). For Houstonians who are passionate about dining, it might just be the culinary event of the year.